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Week 12: Missouri Preview

What can I really say that hasn't already been said by probably everyone? Chances are, you've been researching and breaking down Missouri. So instead of patronizing you, I'm just going to list the three matchups in this game that I think matter the most.

1. Iowa State's Rushing Offense vs. Missouri's Rush Defense

Missouri is 17th in the nation in rush defense, allowing only 104 yards/game. They are also 13th in the nation in yards/attempt, at 3.0 yards/carry. We're talking about an ISU offense that cannot move the ball consistently through the air. They will have to figure out a way to run against this defense to sustain drives. Otherwise, I see a lot of punts.

2. Iowa State's D-Line vs. Missouri's Offensive Line

Everyone is talking about Danario Alexander. He is great, but ISU isn't going to stop him. That doesn't mean that you cannot win, however. Alexander has posted great numbers against K-State and Baylor, but has posted good numbers throughout the year. So, why is Missouri winning some games, but not others? I think a lot of it has to do with rushing the ball.

In losses to Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma State, Alexander had good if not great games. What happened in those losses was that Missouri did not rush the ball well and Gabbert got sacked.

I'm not saying to just allow Alexander to go off, but other teams have shown that he can go off, and the team can still lose.

If ISU can stop the run, and put pressure on the QB (which is a HUGE HUGE if), then the rest will take care of itself. But since that's all a huge if, it leads me to point #3.

3. Turnover Margin

Take care of the ball, and force turnovers. With how inefficient the offense has been this season, ISU can not afford to turn the ball over. Alternativley, since the defense has had issues between the 20s, they need to not give up on the play, and go for the strips/big hits. Iowa State does not beat Nebraska nor Colorado if they do not get every single one of those turnovers. If the turnover margin was less than 1, ISU would have lost to Nebraska, and could have lost to Colorado.

Tell me something you don't know right? Well, it's kind of tough to do. This late in the season, you know what everyone has. I'll be looking forward to seeing which ISU team shows up. This is a big game for the Cyclones regarding bowl destinations, but again, tell you something you don't know, right?

I am guessing that Missouri gets us 34-14, but I would love to be dead wrong on this.